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European Commission headquarters Berlaymont

Arctic Centre leading a new study on the EU Arctic-relevant policies

28.9.2020 11:53

The Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland has for many years been involved in research and consultancy related to the EU’s Arctic policy. New research commissioned by the European Commission studies the EU policies affecting the Arctic from various point of views.

Team of experts carrying out the study is led by Timo Koivurova, research professor and director of the Arctic Centre. The Arctic Centre researchers Stefan Kirchner and Adam Stepien, as well as till recently affiliated with the Arctic Centre Malgorzata (Gosia) Smieszek, are also involved in the work.

– The European Commission and the European External Action Service like us to better understand how various EU actions are relevant for the Arctic. This would serve further development of the EU’s Arctic policy and shape overall narrative for the EU’s Arctic engagement. Our role is to help them out, says Timo Koivurova. 

The objective of the study is therefore to collect information on the positive and negative impacts of EU policies on the Arctic. As a background to such a policy overview, the Arctic footprint of the EU as a major economy, polluter and technology and research powerhouse will be considered. The project will also generate policy options aimed at enhancing EU policy impact.

The study will consider a broad range of EU policies, including: climate and energy policy, circular economy and plastics pollutions actions, biodiversity, fisheries, shipping, extraction and use of natural resources, support for regional development, as well as the EU’s involvement in international Arctic cooperation.

– In the Arctic Centre, we have been involved in research and consultancy related to the EU’s Arctic policy for over a decade, including in an important EU Arctic Footprint and Policy Assessment report ten years ago, and recently in the EU Arctic Policy Assessment project. We have been of an opinion that the EU should regularly assess its policy influence in the Arctic as well as its environmental and economic impact on the region. The present study does exactly that, so it’s great to be involved, says Adam Stepien.

The final report is planned to be ready before the summer 2021. 

The study is funded by the European Commission, Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, under a framework contract between the EC and the consortium led by the EPRD Office for Economic Policy and Regional Development Ltd. The content of the study will be an independent analysis and will not necessarily represent the views of the European Union.


Photo of Berlaymont building, headquarters of the European Commission by European Commission Audiovisual Service. Photographer Etienne Ansotte.


More information: 

Professor Timo Koivurova
Team Leader, Director of the Arctic Centre
timo.koivurova(at)ulapland.fi, +358 (0) 40 551 9522

Adam Stepien
EU Arctic Policy Expert, Arctic Centre
adam.stepien(at)ulapland.fi, +358 (0) 40 484 4298